Downtown St. Paul has a new hotel alongside a remnant of the city's past.
The 100-suite Residence Inn by Marriott opened Monday next to the city's oldest surviving fire station on Grand Avenue close to W. 7th Street on the outskirts of downtown.
"We are pleased to introduce Residence Inn hotels in the downtown St. Paul area," said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, Residence Inn, in a statement.
The Hope Engine Company No. 3 firehouse, which was built in 1872 and operated until 1965, had been destined for the wrecking ball as part of the hotel development until neighbors and local history advocates organized to save it two years ago.
After months of discussions between neighbors and the developer and a lawsuit, the city's Housing and Redevelopment Authority awarded a $500,000 forgivable loan to help with rehabbing the former firehouse.
The building is being turned into a wine bar slated to open in the spring of 2019, said Rachelle Schmitt, director of sales for the hotel. While the hotel and the former fire station are two separate buildings they are being rehabbed by the same developer, she said.
"It's a win-win and shows how to integrate preservation and new development," said Aaron Rubenstein, program director of nonprofit organization Historic Saint Paul, which was part of efforts to save the fire station.
The hotel was developed by Kaeding Development LLC, and is owned by St. Paul Hotel Ventures LLC, and managed by Compass45 Hospitality LLC.
There has been a flurry of hotels announced and completed in downtown St. Paul in the past two years. The Hampton Inn & Suites farther up 7th Street opened in late 2016 along with the Hyatt Place in the U.S. Post Office building.
The former St. Agatha's Conservatory of Music and Arts is slated to open as the Celeste St. Paul Hotel + Bar next year as well as the Hotels Mears, which is supposed to open in the Park Square Court building near Mears Park.
This summer, a Wisconsin developer bought a parking lot on the corner of Jackson Street and E. 9th Street to build a 185-room SpringHill Suites.
Hotel development remains strong with 7,200 rooms in some stage of planning or development across the metro though a slowdown is anticipated, according to Cushman & Wakefield's Compass report.
Last week, the high-end Grand Hotel Minneapolis was sold for $30 million. Previous owner Maryland-based Pebblebrook Hotel Trust announced it lost about $4 million on the sale on the 140-room hotel, located on 2nd Avenue S. next to Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis.
The buyer was identified in a regulatory filing as MHF Properties VI LLC.